Weekly Photo Challenge: A Bargain

Waitrose shelf label for pies

Regular readers may remember that I’m English. I spell aluminium all wrong the British way. We don’t get turkey in November over here, or the other traditional comfort foods of the American season that I’ve grown to love, like sweet potato casserole.

No, no, it’s OK. Don’t feel you have to sympathise. We’re British. We’re used to our food being rubbish and our beer hot.

I suppose you might say this ‘tender and succulent’ chicken pie is the British version of a Thanksgiving turkey and Waitrose’s save 50p offer the British equivalent of Black Friday. 

I don’t really want to do anything other than sigh at Britain’s poshest supermarket’s spurious apostrophe – but if you twist my arm, this is solid evidence to support my controversial view that apostrophes of possession should be dropped because (1) so many people get them wrong (2) they irritate the people who don’t and (3) there’s never any real ambiguity without them.

One thing that does puzzle me is why these chicken pies are advertised as hot when they’re refrigerated. I’m a pie watcher, but I’ve never seen cold hot pies before. It’s not exactly one for the Advertising Standards Authority, but…

I’m off in search of vicarious pleasure from the other entries for this week’s photo challenge: It’s Not This Time Of Year Without…

P.S. I was only joking about our food. It’s fine, honestly.

39 Replies to “Weekly Photo Challenge: A Bargain”

  1. Fortnum’s is Britain’s poshest supermarket.

    I am no longer irritated by errant apostrophes. Mr Trump’s cabinet choices, the economy being Brexited even before Brexit happens, Mme. Le Pen’s good chance of becoming President, Nigel Farage, smiling, all irritate me so much that I no longer enjoy my grammar pedantry. I prefer getting thing’s right, though.

    1. Yep, thing’s can only get better. I’m not sure Fortnum and Mason will be overjoyed to be called a supermarket though. That’s like calling a Plant Centre a Garden Centre. Very shocking to those who make a distinction.

      1. As I understand it, the apostrophe of possession started out as an apostrophe of omission. We elide “Mr Shakespeare his plays” to “Mr Shakespeare’s plays”. Though that only works for single men…

        1. That’s what it is – a ploy to take over the written word. First the seemingly inoffensive apostrophes of omission creep in, then we’re afflicted by dastardly apostrophes of possession and now they’re after our fruit and veg. And our pies.

    1. Thank you! I’ve a feeling we’re about to see a revolution in education, especially for people who are beyond school age. There is so much material out there for those who want to learn.

  2. Careful! The apostrophe may be perfectly correct. They reduced the weight of Toblerone bars, Have they now taken 25% of the pie’s original weight and it’s only 157.5g? I’d be asking why they decided to print that rather pointless “subject to availability” at the bottom of the ticket. And you’ll be asking “Why did I not capitalise the first S in my quotation or, indeed, surround that S (or this one) with quotation marks?” Or maybe not. 🙂

    1. You made me laugh with that one. I didn’t weigh the pie before eating it.

      Self-protection clauses like ‘subject to availability’ can create an atmosphere like that of the bad old days Bill Bryson immortalises in ‘Notes From A Small Island’ when seaside boarding houses had notices restricting hot water and daytime access to rooms.

      Someone is concerned that they might have to cave in and give 50p off a pie from the next full price batch if a customer complains. Given the power of social media, a number of people could descend on stores nationwide clamouring for discounts listed on obsolete shelf labels they didn’t even see but have merely heard about. That could trigger a profit warning on the London Stock Exchange, or a diplomatic incident if one of the customers happened to work for a foreign embassy, so who can blame them?

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